Best books on writing technique
One of the most common pieces of advice to both new and veteran writers to improve writing is to read. Read everything. Read authors you admire. Read books about every subject. Read well-written and poorly written books to understand what works in writing. All of this will help you improve your own writing skills.
There are also books designed to guide you through the writing process. From planning novel-length projects, to basic writing mistakes to avoid, to specific writing elements such as character, dialogue, and setting, there is a book for nearly every writing technique.
Check out The Write Life’s “Best Books on Writing” for a list of books on overcoming writer’s block, writing as an art form, and how to make money writing.
Books that will help your writing technique
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Part memoir, part guidebook, this Stephen King classic will appeal even to those who avoid his renowned horror-packed tales. This superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have.
- On Writing Well by William Zinnser
Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, business, sports, the arts or about yourself in the increasingly popular memoir genre, On Writing Well offers you fundamental principles as well as the insights of a distinguished writer and teacher.
- Writer’s Market edited by Robert Lee Brewer
Writer’s Market helps aspiring writers become published. Its listings contain hundreds of pages of suggested markets for nonfiction writers, as well as those who want to sell short stories, including details for how to pitch your work. Because this guide is updated regularly, you’ll always have the most up-to-date information about how to publish and get paid for your writing.
Books on finding inspiration
The “writing about writing” genre is also a popular resource for writers who might not know which direction they’re going or why they’re writing. For money? For fun? For credit? Here is a list of books recommended for sparking your creativity.
- The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
In these short essays, Annie Dillard illuminates the dedication, absurdity, and daring that characterize the existence of a writer. A moving account of Dillard’s own experiences while writing her works, The Writing Life offers deep insight into one of the most mysterious professions.
- The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Julia Cameron’s novel approach guides readers in uncovering problems areas and pressure points that may be restricting their creative flow and offers techniques to free up any areas where they might be stuck, opening up opportunities for self-growth and self-discovery.
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Bird by Bird is an essential part of any writer’s toolbox. In this work, Lamott shares herself and her craft with readers, including anecdotes that tie the pieces together into all-around great writing. If you need help finding your voice and passion, Lamott’s advice is sure to spark creativity.
For a list of best book for writers with advice about what each book offers, check out this post by The Creative Life.
Even if you read one writing reference book per day, you wouldn’t exhaust all of your resources. Prolific writers know there is always more to learn, but as long as you try to learn something new about writing every day, you’re sure to improve.
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